Since his humble beginnings, Steven’s gone on to make his own beekeeping videos on his youtube channel for novice and experienced beekeepers alike to enjoy, like this BeeCam showing the busy buzzing life of our favorite fuzzy little pollinators.
We sat down with Steven to learn more about his journey to becoming a beekeeper. He shared with us what surprised him the most in his time as a beekeeper, common bee misconceptions, how bees can help your garden, and what you can do to help them in return, whether you’re learning to become a beekeeper, or simply just want to #savethebees.
Without further ado, meet Steven Kan!
Q+A with Steven Kan
OL: What's the most surprising thing you've learned about bees?
SK: The most surprising thing I’ve learned about bees is how calm they can be under the correct circumstances. During my regular inspections of my hives, the bees just go about their business building wax cells, tending young larvae, storing food, etc. The queen will even lay eggs, all while the large alien invader disassembles their home, exposes it to the light, and rearranges the furniture on them.
OL: What is the most satisfying element of being a beekeeper?
SK: Educating the public is the most satisfying element of being a beekeeper, especially during swarm season (See interview question #4 for reference). Many people find the very presence of a bee in their midst to be a terrifying situation, and seeing a cluster of 10,000 bees can be panic-inducing. But watching people watch me coax the bees gently into a box and seeing how their perception changes from panic to fascination is very satisfying.
OL: What can the average gardener do to help protect or propagate these creatures?
SK: The average gardener can help bees by reducing and modifying their pesticide use. Bees will forage in a radius of 1-2 miles around their hive, which equates to 2,000-8,000 acres! So, the amount of bee-friendly plants in one backyard garden is not going to amount to much of a difference in the life of an average hive. But some “systemic” pesticides can be carried back to the hive by worker bees and thus affect the entire colony.
Neonicotinoid pesticides (aka neonics) are suspected as a major cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and should be avoided where possible. Note that neonics have their appropriate uses, such as imidacloprid as a flea control agent in products such as Advantage. However, there’s a huge difference between putting a drop on the back of your pet’s neck and carpet bombing your garden with a pesticide of mass destruction.
Pro Tip For Protecting the Bees: Use a Garden Safe Insecticide like ORGANOCIDE® BEE SAFE Insect Killer, the only insect killer proven safe for bees!